For anyone that has ever been involved in a hit-and-run car accident, the fear is real. You do not know what to do. You do not know whom to hold accountable. And, you do not know if your insurance company will cover the car accident, even if you have uninsured motorist coverage.
Does your car insurance company have to help you?
If you have full coverage car insurance, generally, yes. Now, in a hit-and-run scenario, your insurance company may try to avoid coverage if you do not have uninsured motorist coverage. If you do, then your insurance company must cover you for the car accident, at least, up to your policy limitations.
What if they are denying coverage?
This depends on why they are denying coverage. If they claim you have not paid, then you simply need to show your bank drafts to show that you had coverage. If they claim that you do not have uninsured coverage, then show them your documentation that reflects that coverage. Though, you may find that an attorney gets easier traction.
What if they cover, but I disagree with the adjuster?
Insurance adjusters must have a good faith basis for their estimations. If they refuse to give you that basis, they likely have acted in bad faith. In addition, if you have provided alternative evidence to your insurance company that was disregarded, your insurance company may have acted in bad faith as well. If they are dragging out the claims process or taking an unreasonable amount of time to respond to you, that too could be bad faith. And, to be clear, bad faith insurance practices are not legal in Napa County.
You can fight back
If you suspect bad faith, also known as unfair claims practices, tell your car insurance company and be specific. Tell them you know unfair claims practices are not legal, and that they have a duty to explain amounts, coverages and denials, in addition to acting reasonably and within reasonable timeframes. Often, this will solve the problem because they do not want you to contact an attorney or file a complaint.
What if that does not work?
You can file a complaint with your state’s insurance regulatory agency. Most states have an official complaint processing procedure that helps you hold insurance companies accountable. To expedite the process, most people use a Napa County attorney.